Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: GUEST POST: Tips for Long Distance Riding

9.06.2017

GUEST POST: Tips for Long Distance Riding

All right, here's another guest post about riding your motorcycle through hot and humid conditions.

If you're a motorcycle enthusiast and are interested in becoming a guest blogger on here, fill out the inquiry form on the right side of the page and I'll get back to you.

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Two-Wheeled Tourist.

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Nothing beats a long-distance trip, especially when on the back of as two-wheeled beast where you can feel the wind beat against your face and the sun shine on your shoulders. It may seem like a fun idea to just hop on your motorcycle and take off for destinations unknown just to ride across the country, but as any seasoned rider will tell you, a long-distance ride takes careful planning.

Some riders love the feeling of a long ride coast to coast while others prefer to ride part of the way and then have the motorcycle shipped the rest of the way. This is an ideal choice for those who may be traveling through barren areas of the country or who are traveling from a cold area to a warm or hot and humid climate and don’t want to ride through snow and ice or through the humidity in a hot climate. Some riders, however, will ride through all weather and circumstances. If this is you, then you may need to consider some important things about the ride before you leave. The most important will be to make sure everything is ready to go.

You can use the following long-distance riding tips to help ensure your ride goes smooth and you don’t run into any major issues along the way.

Make Sure Your Bike Is Ready
The distance you travel is going to be dependent on the reliability of your motorcycle. You will need to make sure she is ready to roll and that all will go well even when you are hundreds of miles away from home.
  • Check your tires to ensure they are inflated properly for a long-distance trip. 
  • Check around the bike to make sure nothing is loose or broken. This includes your luggage racks, handles and other parts that can loosen during a ride.
  • Fill fluids
  • Make sure your lights work. Check the front headlamp as well as your back lights and signal lights.
  • Test the battery to make sure it is in top condition.
  • You will want to check your chain or belt to make sure it’s in good condition.
  • Check the spark plugs.
  • Test the brakes to make sure they work well.
Planning the Road Trip
Besides checking the motorcycle to make sure it is ready for a long ride, you will also want to map out the trip to make sure you are prepared for what lies ahead.
  • GPS is nice, but you are bound to travel through dead spots where GPS won’t work. Get a map ready and printed so you will have a backup to use when you need to know which direction to go if your GPS fails along the way.
  • Contact hotels that are on the way to get rates and see how far they are from the highway. It’s best to know where you can lay your head when you get tired after riding hours on end.
  • Plan for fuel stops by mapping out the gas stations along the way. Just because you may have enough fuel doesn’t mean you won’t need to stop for a drink or to grab a quick bite to eat. You will also want to stretch your legs after riding a distance.
  • Traveling out of the country? If so, you need to make sure you have the proper paperwork in hand when you get to the border or you will have to turn around and find another location to head to. 
Gearing Up
Before you hop on your bike to trek across the country, it’s wise to make sure you are all geared up ahead of time. As you know, you won’t have a great deal of space on the motorcycle, but don’t let that damper your decisions when determining what to wear or pack for the trip.
  • Before you decide on clothing to wear, you need to pack a kit with jumper cables, tools, flat tire repair and other road trip tools that may be needed in case of an emergency along the highway. 
  • When you pack clothing, you will of course pack as light as possible, but try to compress everything into the bag by rolling things up tightly as you pack. This will allow for more clothing items to be placed inside your bag.
  • Pack a first aid kit and items like chapstick, sunscreen, ear plugs and waterproof matches. 
  • Keep a list of names and numbers printed and packed inside a bag. You never know when you may need to reach an emergency contact and will need their number.
  • It may be nice and sunny when you head out, but pack rain gear or even cold weather gear if you plan to travel into various climates.
  • Use plastic zip lock bags to help keep your travel gear nice and dry if it rains.
Whether your long-distance trip is to the next state over or from the east coast of Georgia to the west coast of California, be sure to notify friends and family that you are leaving. You will also want to let those closest to you know your planned route. While most rides go smoothly, having someone with knowledge as to where you will be can be a great help if you have a breakdown on the road and someone needs to locate you quickly. Your trip may be filled with adventure depending on where you travel to and will be a great experience, but keep in mind that the most important thing on your trip is to be safe when you ride.